What do I do after confidentially has been broken regarding a sexual harassment report that I filed with human resources?

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What do I do after confidentially has been broken regarding a sexual harassment report that I filed with human resources?

My company recently brought in a new general manager who is friends with the president of the company. He has been sexually harassing me and I have witnesses. I reported it to human resources and was told he wouldn’t find out. Less than 5 hours later I was told he’s questioning other employees who were witnesses because our president told him. I’m scared to go to work.

Asked on August 13, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

Mike Harvath / Harvath Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Hi.  I am very sorry to hear about the stressful and humiliating situation you have been put into by your employer, regarding the harassment you have been exposed to.  No one should ever be exposed to any form of sexual harassment in the workplace, and this includes not only actual physical contact, but verbal exchanges that are humiliating or degrading as well.  I am a Missouri licensed attorney that handles employer-employee legal issues, including harassment claims. 

     You need to take the appropriate legal steps to protect yourself, meaning both your legal rights, as well as your emotional well-being.  It appears from your question that your employer is relying on some type of internal company investigation, which can be highly biased, and can result in you losing your legal rights.  There are specific legal procedures, which involve, initially, an investigation by the EEOC.  This investigation will entail an objective, non-biased, review of the facts of what happened and whether or not you potentially have a claim against the employer.  If you do, in fact, have a claim, you can be entitled to substantial compensation.  Moreover, appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the type of behavior that has affected you does not continue to happen, or happen to other individuals in the future.  There are time limits for initiating legal procedures to protect your rights and well-being, so I would not delay.

     For convenience, you can reach me via e-mail at mth2000@yahoo.com.  Our law firm website is: www.harvathmissouriillinoislawyers.com.

NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.  The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment law attorney. Not only does the law prohibit sexual harassment or discrimination against employees, but it also prohibits retaliation against employees who report claims or incidens of sexual harassment. Telling the manager whom you accused of sexual harassment of your charge, and giving him the names of your witnesses so he can possibly intimidate them, could constitute illegal intimidation. You may have a claim which would entitle you to compensation, so you should speak with an attorney to see if that is the case and what it might be worth. If you choose to not speak with an attorney, you could try contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or your state department of labor. Good luck.


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